Small neuroglial cells, possibly of mesodermal origin, which may become phagocytic, in areas of neural damage or inflammation. SYN: Hortega cells, m. cells, microglial cells. [micro- + G. glia, glue]

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mi·crog·lia mī-'kräg-lē-ə n glia consisting of small cells with few processes that are scattered throughout the central nervous system, have a phagocytic function as part of the reticuloendothelial system, and are now usu. considered to be of mesodermal origin
mi·crog·li·al -lē-əl adj

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one of the two basic classes of glia (the non-nervous cells of the central nervous system), having a mainly scavenging function (see macrophage). Compare macroglia.

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mi·crog·lia (mi-krogґle-ə) [micro- + -glia] the small, nonneural, interstitial cells of mesodermal origin that form part of the supporting structure of the central nervous system. They are of various forms and may have slender branched processes. They are migratory and act as phagocytes to waste products of nerve tissue. See also microglial cell and gitter cell. microglial adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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